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The Hamilton Spectator
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Tuesday October 21, 2008
Colin Powell, a Republican and retired general who was President Bush's first secretary of state, broke with the party Sunday and endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president, calling him a "transformational figure" while criticizing the tone of John McCain's campaign.

The former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman said either senator is qualified to be commander in chief. But after studying both, he concluded that Obama is better suited than McCain, the standard-bearer of Powell's own party, to handle the nation's economic problems and help improve its world standing.

"It isn't easy for me to disappoint Sen. McCain in the way that I have this morning, and I regret that," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press," where he announced the endorsement and delivered a serious blow to the aspirations of his longtime friend, Arizona Sen. McCain.

But, Powell added: "I think we need a transformational figure. I think we need a president who is a generational change and that's why I'm supporting Barack Obama, not out of any lack of respect or admiration for Sen. John McCain."

The endorsement by Powell amounted to a stunning rejection of McCain, a 26-year veteran of Congress and a former Vietnam prisoner of war who has campaigned as the experienced, tested candidate who knows how to keep the country safe.

Powell's endorsement has been much anticipated because of his impressive foreign policy credentials, a subject on which Obama, a first-term senator from Illinois, is weak. Powell is a Republican centrist popular among moderate voters. More...

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Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama
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